With retreat looming on the horizon, we will be discussing the two sides of an issue that greatly impacts our community: the topic of sports teams missing retreat. This year, the varsity football and Varsity girls golf teams were told to miss retreat because they have a commitment to attend games and practices. However, this could cause them to miss out on a great experience. For this issue, rather than arguing with each other, we are weighing in on three relevant issues regarding athletes missing retreat.
Tammer Bagdasarian ’20/Spectrum
When practicing and competing with their team, student athletes are bonding with their teammates. These teams are attending important games together, and are spending valuable time with each other that will strongly benefit team morale and performance. This is even more valuable than retreat because they are developing close relationships with the very people with whom they will be competing with for years, rather than just in a group with for four days where no lasting impact will be created. They are bonding within their team, which can prove to be equally if not more valuable than retreat.
Students who do not attend retreat are missing out on important opportunities to form relationships with students outside of their usual friend group. Athletes who don’t go on retreat only spend time with their teammates, with whom they engage with on a daily basis throughout games, practices, travelling and other sports events regardless. There are plenty of opportunities for athletes to strengthen relationships with their teammates throughout the year, but there are very few in which the entire grade is gathered together in a place other than on campus. When they miss retreat, athletes miss the opportunity to interact with students outside of their team community. This could result in them missing out on creating life-long friends out of simple acquaintances, and will be a hindrance on their social relationships.
Escape from Daily Life
During the school year, the main commitment for most students is schoolwork. For many, sports is a way to escape from normal school life. To have a week with their team, not having much to do except playing a sport they enjoy, is a good break, which could lead to them performing much better at school the next week.
Sports can be just as stressful as school work for many student athletes. Playing a sport is something that students need a break from as well. The point of retreat is to get away from daily life and have a few stress-free days of relaxation and detachment from pressures of daily life. If sports teams are required to miss retreat, then they do not have any break from their normal routines, and may come back to school more exhausted and drained than before they left.
Retreat is the only time that students ever get a break from school life and an opportunity to spend time out of school grounds together. During the school year, kids are so focused on school work, that meeting new people doesn’t take priority. Members of sports teams are constantly given chances to form relationships throughout the course of meets, tournaments, camps, etc. However, retreat only happens once a year, and if students miss retreat, this rare opportunity to interact with other students, whom they may have never even spoken to, vanishes. Missing retreat isn’t like missing school. Retreat is supposed to be for enjoyment, and for many students, participating in a sports game is more important and enjoyable than going to retreat. While missing retreat will not directly impact any student. However, these competitions that teams are attending are important to the teams as a whole, and will impact the whole rest of the sports season. It is not worth missing these important games for retreat.